What Does Body-Neutral Mean and How Does That Affect Your Experience at KUMA?

Have you ever felt out of place or judged in a gym? We hear you. That’s why at KUMA, we embrace a body-neutral approach to fitness. But what exactly is body-neutrality, and how does it shape your experience at our gym? Let’s dive into this empowering concept and see how it makes KUMA a positive, inclusive haven for all.

What is Body-Neutrality?

Definition and Explanation

Body-neutrality is all about focusing on what your body can do rather than how it looks. It’s a refreshing shift from the constant pressure to look a certain way. Unlike body-positivity, which emphasizes loving your body, body-neutrality is about accepting your body as it is and celebrating its amazing abilities.

The core of body-neutrality lies in appreciating your body for its functionality, strength, and health. It’s about recognizing that your worth isn’t tied to your appearance but to your capabilities and well-being. It’s liberating and empowering!

The Benefits of a Body-Neutral Approach

Mental and Emotional Well-being

Adopting a body-neutral mindset can significantly boost your mental health. It reduces the stress and anxiety that often come with striving for an ideal body image. Instead, it fosters self-acceptance and self-compassion, making you feel more at peace with yourself.

Inclusive and Supportive Environment

Body-neutrality creates an inclusive space where everyone feels welcome, regardless of their size, shape, or fitness level. At KUMA, we don’t judge or compare; we support each other. This approach nurtures a community where everyone feels valued and empowered.

How KUMA Embraces Body-Neutrality

Gym Policies and Practices

At KUMA, we have specific policies that support a body-neutral environment. For instance, you won’t find mirrors in our workout areas. This helps you focus on your movements and skills rather than your reflection. We also use inclusive language that celebrates your strength and progress.

Class Structure and Coaching

Our instructors at KUMA emphasize skill development, strength, and personal progress over appearance. You’ll hear phrases like “You’re getting stronger!” and “Great job on that combo!” rather than comments on how you look. It’s all about your capabilities and achievements.

Member Proof

Don’t just take our word for it—hear it from our members! Many have shared how KUMA’s body-neutral approach has transformed their fitness journey, helping them feel more confident and empowered. These stories are a testament to the positive impact of our inclusive environment.

Impact on Your Experience at KUMA

Empowerment Through Movement

Focusing on what your body can achieve fosters a sense of empowerment and accomplishment. Whether you’re perfecting a kickboxing combo or nailing a new technique, celebrating these victories feels incredible!

Building Confidence and Self-Esteem

Our body-neutral approach helps build confidence and self-esteem by celebrating your individual progress and strength. You’ll start to see yourself as strong and capable, which is a fantastic feeling.

Creating a Positive Relationship with Fitness

By embracing body-neutrality, you’ll develop a healthy, sustainable relationship with exercise. Fitness becomes something you enjoy and look forward to, rather than a chore you have to do to change your appearance.

Practical Tips for Embracing Body-Neutrality in Your Fitness Journey

  • Mindset Shifts – Start by shifting your focus from appearance to performance and well-being. Celebrate what your body can do, and appreciate its strength and resilience.
  • Setting Goals – Set fitness goals that prioritize health, strength, and skill development. Think along the lines of mastering a new technique, increasing your stamina, or improving your flexibility.
  • Self-Reflection and Journaling – Keep a journal to track non-aesthetic progress. Write about how you feel after a workout, the skills you’ve improved, and the strength you’ve gained. Celebrate these achievements!


Body-neutrality is a game-changer, creating a positive and inclusive fitness environment that celebrates your unique strengths and capabilities. At KUMA, we’re all about empowering you to feel strong and confident, without the pressure of traditional fitness standards. Come join us and experience the difference for yourself. Embrace body-neutrality, and let’s celebrate what our amazing bodies can do together!

Written By
Picture of Coach Stacy

Coach Stacy

Stacy Kim, the founder of KUMA Fit (a women’s kickboxing & fitness studio in Saco, Maine) and Stacy Kim Coaching, has dedicated her life to teaching. She has taught over 10,000 classes and has trained in martial arts and fitness for over 15 years. Today, her mission is to redefine what fitness means for women, to stop objectifying the body, and focus on moving to feel strong.

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